What Is Mineral Spirits?

Mineral Spirits: A mixture of aliphatic, open-chain, or alicyclic C7 to C12 hydrocarbons, white spirit is insoluble in water and is used as an extraction solvent, as a cleaning solvent, as a degreasing solvent, and as a solvent in aerosols, paints, wood preservatives, lacquers, varnishes, and asphalt products. In Western Europe, about 60% of the total white spirit consumption is used in paints, lacquers, and varnishes. White spirit is the most widely used solvent in the paint industry. In households, white spirit is commonly used to clean paint brushes after use, to clean auto parts and tools, as a starter fluid for charcoal grills, to remove adhesive residue from non-porous surfaces, and many other common tasks.

Commonly used as paint thinner, mineral spirits—an inexpensive petroleum distillate—is also a versatile cleaner. While you might not reach for it as often as a disinfectant spray, it’s highly effective at tackling some of the toughest home, yard, and garage messes. The trick is understanding what to use it on and how.


Odorless Mineral Spirits

Environmental claims on this product are in comparison to regular Klean-Strip® Odorless Mineral Spirits. No environmental benefits are claimed on this product beyond those specifically identified on the label.

Is a highly refined, premium solvent that effectively thins and blends well into oil-based paint, stain, and varnish, and has no odor. It is an excellent cleaner for brushes and equipment. It also removes and dissolves grease, grime, and oil from most surfaces.

Neither this product nor any of its ingredients are considered to be flammable liquids by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Hazardous Air Pollutants as defined by the EPA.

What Are Mineral Spirits

Mineral spirits are a type of chemical substance that is a liquid hydrocarbon solvent mixture of aliphatic and alicyclic petroleum-based compounds. Mineral spirits are used as a key ingredient in paint and varnish products used to coat metal surfaces to prevent corrosion.

Most commonly, mineral spirits are used to clean paintbrushes, especially paintbrushes that are heavily coated with thick paints and oils. Mineral spirits are a must-have for any painting project, personal or professional. Additionally, having the right consistency is key for applying a good coat of paint. Depending on how thick or thin you want your paint coat to be, you can use mineral spirits to get perfect consistency every time! As we will see, mineral spirits are even better than paint thinner!

Mineral Spirits Vs Paint Thinner

Mineral spirits are less toxic. Both mineral spirits and paint thinner are created through the distillation of petroleum, but mineral spirits are heavily refined during production to reduce toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sulfur. In the case of odor-free mineral spirits, which are readily available in home centers, these toxic compounds have been completely eliminated!

Effectiveness: Mineral spirits tend to be more effective in terms of solvent properties and cleaning capabilities. This is again due to the fact that it is a much more purified form than paint thinner. Many artists prefer mineral spirits due to the substance’s ability to quickly clean any painting utensils they might use. It is also a more effective solvent and is the preferable thinning fluid. Because it is more effective overall, that can make up for the difference in cost compared to paint thinner.


Mineral spirit is less toxic. Both mineral spirit and paint thinner are created through the distillation of petroleum, but the mineral spirit is heavily refined during production to reduce toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sulfur. In the case of odor-free mineral spirit, which is readily available in home centers, these toxic compounds have been completely eliminated! These solvents allow homeowners with kids or pets to rest easy knowing they aren’t introducing as many harmful pollutants into the home during paint projects.

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The Smell: Paint thinner is noxious stuff. The vapors are enough to lay you out if you don’t take proper precautions. You need to take care not to inhale too much, as it can cause many harmful side effects, including death. Because paint thinner contains various solvents, this gives it more extreme noxiousness. “Washed” mineral spirit has a much lower odor factor and is much easier to use for many people because of this.

The Cost: Usually, paint thinner is cheaper to purchase by a pretty good amount. Mineral spirit can be up to double the cost because it receives more thorough refinement. This cleaning of the material also is what makes it less noxious to use. The bottom line is that it takes more work to produce mineral spirit than paint thinner, and you get what you pay for.

What Are Mineral Spirits Used For?

Mineral spirits are used for a variety of purposes, mainly as a solvent and cleaning agent. Here are some common applications:

  1. Paint thinner: Mineral spirits can thin oil-based paints, varnishes, and stains, making them easier to apply or remove.
  2. Cleaning brushes: They effectively clean paint brushes by dissolving residual paint or varnish, prolonging the brushes’ lifespan.
  3. Degreasing: Mineral spirits can remove grease, grime, and oil from metal parts or machinery.
  4. Removing adhesive residue: They’re useful in dissolving adhesive residue left behind by stickers or tape.
  5. Woodworking: Woodworkers use mineral spirits to clean wood surfaces, removing dust and dirt before applying a finish.
  6. Preparing surfaces: They can be used to clean and prepare surfaces before painting or refinishing, ensuring a smooth and even finish.

These are just a few examples of the many uses of mineral spirits in various applications.

What Is The Same As Mineral Spirits?

Mineral spirit will dissolve only paint that is still fresh. Naphtha is a petroleum solvent similar to the mineral spirit but with greater volatility; it is used chiefly as a paint thinner or a cleaning agent. Naphtha is a more powerful solvent than mineral spirit, so less is needed to thin the same amount of paint.

Are Mineral Spirits Toxic?

Some manufacturers claim that certain odorless mineral spirit is safe. The aromatic hydrocarbons, which are responsible for much of the smell and toxicity of mineral spirit, have been removed. While less dangerous, the odorless mineral spirit still contains small amounts of aliphatic hydrocarbons.

Is Mineral Spirits The Same As Turpentine?

Are turpentine and mineral spirit the same thing? No. Turpentine is distilled from pine trees while mineral spirits (or white spirits) are made from petroleum.

what is mineral spirits in Australia?

In Australia, mineral spirits are commonly referred to as “white spirits” or “Stoddard solvent.” This versatile, clear, and colorless liquid is widely used for cleaning, degreasing, and as a paint thinner. Australian households and industries alike appreciate its effectiveness in various applications.

what is mineral spirits UK?

In the United Kingdom, mineral spirits are commonly known as “white spirits” or “Stoddard solvents.” This clear, colorless liquid is widely used as a solvent and cleaning agent. It is effective in thinning oil-based paints, varnishes, and stains, as well as cleaning paint brushes and other tools. Additionally, it is used for degreasing, removing adhesive residue, and preparing surfaces before painting or refinishing. White Spirit is a popular choice for various household and industrial applications in the UK.

what is mineral spirits in Nz?

In New Zealand, mineral spirits are commonly referred to as “white spirits.” This clear, colorless liquid is widely used as a solvent and cleaning agent in various applications. White spirits serve as a paint thinner for oil-based paints, varnishes, and stains. They are also effective in cleaning paint brushes, removing adhesive residue, degreasing metal parts, and preparing surfaces for painting or refinishing. New Zealanders appreciate the versatility and effectiveness of white spirits in both household and industrial settings.

what color are mineral spirits?

Mineral spirits are typically a clear, colorless liquid with a characteristic odor. They’re widely used as a solvent and cleaning agent, appreciated for their effectiveness in various applications, such as thinning paint, cleaning brushes, and degreasing. The transparent appearance of mineral spirits makes them suitable for use without altering the color or appearance of the materials to which they’re applied.

what are mineral spirits for wood?

Mineral spirits for wood are a versatile solvent used in woodworking projects for several purposes:

  1. Cleaning: They effectively remove dirt, dust, and grease from wooden surfaces before applying finishes or paint.
  2. Prepping surfaces: By cleaning the wood with mineral spirits, you can ensure a smooth and even surface for applying paint, stain, or varnish.
  3. Removing finishes: Mineral spirits can dissolve and remove old finishes, making it easier to refinish or repaint wooden surfaces.
  4. Wiping off excess stain: After applying wood stain, mineral spirits can be used to remove excess stain, resulting in a more even finish.
  5. Cleaning tools: They are also useful for cleaning brushes, rollers, and other woodworking tools contaminated with oil-based products.

These are just a few examples of how mineral spirits can be utilized in woodworking to achieve optimal results.



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